Making the Right Divot

I ran across this yesterday and thought it was worth showing. It is short video hitting the golf ball and making a divot. It is not instructional, but if you watch the whole 30 seconds, you will quickly pick up on a common theme.

When I watched the video, I was reminded of the importance of hitting the ball first a worrying about making a divot afterwards. It is very clear that the above strokes were solidly hit. This is something I aspire too on every shot.

There are many reasons why I do not hit the ball first, but in my case, the major culprit is ball position. I have a tendency to allow the ball to creep forward in my stance. I realize as a low handicapper this seems strange, but it happens. My first indication that my ball is not in the proper position is that I hit several fat shots in a row. I say several because if I reacted to every miss it immediately I would always be making adjustments. Making a proper divot is very important to making a great shot.

Every part of our golf game tells us something. A divot is no different. Hitting the ball first and following through with a divot is the key to my game, how about yours?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

6 thoughts on “Making the Right Divot

  1. Definitely! The divot can tell so much; ball position, weight transfer, impact (ball first), etc.
    The key to my game is my club path (also can be diagnosed with a divot). The moment I get too far outside-in, my game goes to crap.
    Keep at it and thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I find that my ball placement moves around a bit too. I figured it was because I am not as robotic as a pro. My body doesn’t perform exactly the same every day or even sometimes throughout a round. So what I do is always take a few practice swings beside, rather than behind the ball. I pay attention to both where I am bottoming out and my distance to where the swing touched and set my ball position accordingly. That helps me leave that worry behind as I stand over the ball.

    Hitting ball first is something I’ve been working on all year. I have a sandy spot in my back yard I use for practicing and I just draw a line in the sand with the club head, pretend the ball sits on that line and I practice hitting the ground just after the line. I’ve also seen video’s that recommended a can of spray foot powder or a couple of tee’s for use on the range. Adding that line of powder on a mat gives me the feedback I need. On the grass, I just plug a couple of tees in the ground to mark a line at the front edge of the ball and judge my ball strike from that.

    Between the practice and the routine, I do a much better job now hitting ball first. In the past my divot was centered around my ball with the deepest part where the ball sat. While I have to say that’s not totally confined to my past still, I’m doing much, much better.


    • Kevin

      Great to see you are practicing where to hit the ball in your stance. Like you, I also practice this and find I play better when I do. It is interesting the amount of feedback a player can glean by drawing a line in the sand! Thanks for the suggestions above.

      Cheers Jim


  3. Jim, great discussion point.

    I am convinced that 99% of amateurs would gain more satisfaction from hitting the ball first then taking a divot. But focusing on just “hitting the ball first” is misplaced because it’s usually followed by an attempt to hit it with the hands. To correctly take a divot, the player needs to cover the shot with their body, i.e. lead with the body and let the hands passively follow. Then you will correctly compress the ball. I have learned this painful lesson over the last three years of having my swing worked on with my pro. It is frickin hard to do but when done properly is a thing of beauty.

    When I took my first lessons at 16 years of age, my instructor had me constantly working to hit the ball with my hands (rolling them over through the hitting zone). While that helped develop some hand-eye coordination, it was not helpful in making a properly sequenced swing. So I’ve had to unlearn the last 40+ years of habits to hit the ball correctly. Oh well 🙂

    BTW, I think if you are covering the shot correctly, you should be able to take a divot even if your ball position creeps forward. It would be a more shallow divot and you’d flight it higher. Something to keep an eye on.

    Great post, thanks!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian

      Great insight on taking a divot. Thanks for sharing our story, it is very relevant and sheds some light on the challenges of poor techique when first learning golf.

      I agree that I should be able to take a divot of some sort if my body is in the right position, unfortunately this year is a was and I will focus on the finer points next year. I am already excited to hit the links, but must find a way to fill 5 months of not playing.

      Thanks again for the comments, they are very helpful!

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

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